About Darwin


Darwin is Australia's only tropical capital city, located on the edge of a harbour bigger than Sydney's, providing spectacular views across the Timor Sea. Being situated closer to Bali than Bondi you can certainly feel removed from the rest of the country. With a population in excess of 130,000, it is a destination renowned for its tropical climate and colourful characters, for locals the perfect weekend is going fishing for barra in a tinny with an esky full of beer. Darwin is a beautiful, fascinating tropical city and with more than 50 nationalities represented Darwin is rich in history and culture as well as natural wonders. Chairs and tables spill out of street-side restaurants and bars, innovative museums celebrate the city's past, and galleries showcase the region's rich Indigenous art. It is the home of NT commerce and business and with its world-class natural and cultural attractions it is also a thriving hub of activity in terms of tourism, nightlife and retail. 

While a sophisticated, modern city in its own right, it is also one steeped in history, one that has endured many hardships on its way to establishing itself as the gateway to Asia. The Larrakia people are the traditional land owners that have lived in the greater Darwin region since before European settlement. The city was named in 1839 when the HMS Beagle sailed into the harbour and the ship’s captain named the port after Charles Darwin. The population rapidly expanded after gold was discovered at Pine Creek in 1871 and during World War II Darwin was a major military base for allied troops in the Pacific. It was bombed twice on 19 February 1942 by the same fleet that bombed Pearl Harbour, with a total of 64 air raids between 1942 and1943. Darwin was granted city status on Australia Day (26 January) 1959 and today, Darwin is a thriving modern capital city with one of the fastest growing economies in Australia, as it maximises its strengths in industry and tourism.

eating out in darwin

Curve Restaurant and Bar
Ground floor of Adina Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront
Ph: (08) 8982 9999
Open Hours: 
Breakfast everyday 6.30am - 10am
All day dining everyday 11am -  6pm
Dinner everyday 6pm - 10pm

The Precinct 
7 Kitchener Dr, Darwin City
Ph: (08) 8941 9000
Open Hours: everyday 10am-2am

Oyster Bar
19 Kitchener Dr, Dawin City
Ph: (08) 8981 2242
Open Hours: Mon - Sun 11am - 11.59pm

Wharf One Food and Wine
F3A/19 Kitchener Dr, Darwin Waterfront
Ph: (08) 8941 0033
Open Hours:
Lunch everyday 12pm-3pm
Dinner everyday 6pm - late

Aboriginal Bush Traders Café
74 The Esplanade, Darwin City
Ph: (08) 8931 6650
Open Hours: Mon - Fri 7.30am - 3pm

what to do in darwin

Crocosaurus Cove

Crocosaurus cove is located in the heart of the city, bringing together some of the largest Saltwater Crocodiles in Australia and boasting the World’s largest display of Australian reptiles, Crocosaurus Cove is a must see attraction when visiting Darwin and the Top End. You can opt to swim with the Crocs, check out the Fishing for Crocs platform and smile for the camera while holding a baby Saltwater Crocodile. Check out the Barramundi, Archer Fish and Whiprays in the 200,000 litre fresh water aquarium and visit the turtles in the Top End Turtle Billabong.


Mindil Beach Sunset Market

As the sun heads towards the horizon, half of Darwin descends on the market, with tables, chairs, rugs, grog and kids in tow. Peruse and promenade, stop for a pummelling massage or to listen to rhythmic live music. Don't miss a flaming satay stick from Bobby's brazier. Top it off with fresh fruit salad, decadent cakes or luscious crêpes. But that's only half the fun – arts and crafts stalls bulge with handmade jewellery, fabulous rainbow tie-dyed clothes, Aboriginal artefacts, and wares from Indonesia and Thailand.


Bicentennial Park

Bicentennial Park (the Esplanade) runs the length of Darwin's waterfront and Lameroo Beach: a sheltered cove popular in the '20s when it housed the saltwater baths, and traditionally a Larrakia camp area. At the Herbert St end there's a cenotaph commemorating Australians' service to the country's war efforts: from those who lost their lives in WWI to Aboriginal men and women whose bush skills assisted the Army during WWII to protect the remote northern coastline. Also honoured are 200 Remarkable Territorians: hand-painted tiles in panels dispersed intermittently along the Esplanade commemorate some of the Territory's 'quiet achievers', including pioneers, publicans and pastoralists.


Darwin Waterfront and Wave Lagoon

The footbridge at the end of Smith Street is like a gateway to leisure-land, home to the Wave Pool and also safe swimming Recreation Lagoon. Darwin Waterfront's cafes and restaurants offer plenty of opportunities to refuel after a morning swim, linger over a luxurious lunch, or stop for a sundowner. Choose from high-end Mediterranean and Mexican restaurants, to more casual cafes and bars - you'll never be too far from an ice cream or a barra burger. 


Deckchair Cinema

Deckchair Cinema screens films 7 nights a week from 18 April – 18 November 2018. The box office is open nightly from 6:00pm, with films starting promptly at the advertised time. Deckchair Cinema is operated by the not-for-profit Darwin Film Society. See whats on here.



Darwin Aviation Museum

The Darwin Aviation Museum is an accredited tourism attraction with award winning displays. With 19 aircraft, 21 engines, 38 major displays including relics of crashed aircraft it depicts the aviation history of the Northern Territory.  During the 25 years since the original aviation museum was opened, the Society has expanded its collection of aircraft, aviation artefacts and war relics, to the point now where the Darwin Aviation Museum is home to one of the largest collections of aircraft and aviation artefacts in Australia, outside of government managed or supported facilities.


Self Guided Heritage and Culture Walking Tour: Darwin Waterfront Precinct

The heritage and cultural trail around the Darwin Waterfront Precinct takes in some of Darwin’s most significant historical sites: the site of the first European settlement, WWII oil storage tunnels, the city’s first road, the wharf area that was heavily bombed in WWII, the Navy’s 1928 Pump House and a significant local Aboriginal site. Download the trail map here

Alternatively, a few minutes out of the city, take the walking path through rainforest out to East Point and spot local wallabies. Charles Darwin National Park, 4 km south east of Darwin, has some excellent walking trails that visit WWII bunkers.

Also, check out Walk Darwin here for guided walking tours around Darwin. 


Art Galleries

Darwin’s art scene provides the perfect frame for the region’s artworks. See breakthrough modern art in small, contemporary galleries, admire investment pieces in glossy commercial galleries, and see traditional and contemporary works – from traditional dot paintings to bold screen prints – from local and remote communities in Aboriginal art galleries.


Getting around darwin

Car Hire

SPECIAL OFFER - 10% discount off the best rate of the day when booking with Thrifty.
To take advantage of this offer call 1300 367 227 and quote code "NTCONVENTIONS" when making a booking.


Taxis operate 24 hours per day in Darwin and surrounds. Taxi ranks are located at Darwin International Airport, the Knuckey Street end of Smith Street Mall and outside SkyCity casino, plus outside the Darwin Cinemas on Mitchell at night on weekends.

Blue Taxi Company
Phone: (08) 8980 3777

Australia Wide Taxi
Phone: 131 008


Public Transport

Public buses in Darwin and Palmerston are run by Buslink and Territory Transit with most services operating seven days a week including public holidays (excluding Christmas Day and Good Friday). The bus network operates from the Darwin, Casuarina and Palmerston interchanges.





Do The NT: https://northernterritory.com/darwin-and-surrounds/see-and-do
Information Center: https://northernterritory.com/darwin-and-surrounds/information/tourism-top-end-visitor-information-centre
Lonely Planet Guide for Darwin: www.lonelyplanet.com/australia/northern-territory/darwin 

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